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Be­fore Bef pre­sent­ing jewelry to a client, clie Mah­naz Is­pa­hani Bar­tos may spend spe months or years re­search­ing and gath­er­ing pieces by an in­flu­en­tial jew­eler or from a cer­tain de­sign move­ment. mov The col­lec­tor’s cu­ra­to­rial ap­proach app cre­ates a nar­ra­tive and his­tor­i­cal hist con­text for de­signs that set the Mah­naz Col­lec­tion (mah­naz col­lec­tion.com) coll apart from other vin­tage-jewelry vint bou­tiques. “I like to bring brin lost masters to the fore to tell their thei story—who made it, when they made mad it, and the cul­tural con­text in which whi they made it,” says Is­pa­hani Bar­tos, Bar who last summer moved her grow­ing grow busi­ness from her pri­vate stu­dio stud to a larger, by-ap­point­ment gallery gall on Mid­town Man­hat­tan’s

East Eas 57th Street.

Her H own story is com­pelling, too. The global pol­icy ex­pert turned vin­tage-jewelry vint dealer worked for the New York–based Ford Foun­da­tion for 10 years be­fore launch­ing her vin­tage-jewelry vint col­lec­tion in 2012.

“At the Ford Foun­da­tion, our phi­los­o­phy was to give peo­ple voice. That is w what I want to do with the jewelry as well,” w she says. If pol­icy and jewelry seem un­likely bed­fel­lows, they have hav a con­nec­tion in Is­pa­hani Bar­tos. Jewelry Jew is part of her roots: “I come from a cul­ture where we’re al­ways in­volved invo with jewelry. I was raised around arou jew­el­ers, and it has al­ways been bee in my life.” Born in Pak­istan, she be­gan col­lect­ing pieces early, ac­ces­soriz­ing acce her dolls with emer­ald eme ear­rings handed down from her grand­mother.

In I the 6 years since found­ing her busi­ness, Is­pa­hani Bar­tos has gar­nered garn a loyal clien­tele who rely on h her for a range of vin­tage jewelry, from ex­am­ples by revered houses (start­ing at $7,500) to those of lesser-known jewelry artists (from $2,000). This eclec­tic mix in­cludes a Mel­le­rio dits Meller brooch with lapis lazuli and di­a­monds, tex­tured gold rings by 20th-cen­tury de­signer An­drew Grima, and a Van Cleef & Ar­pels two-headed ea­gle pen­dant from the 1970s, to name a few.

Is­pa­hani Bar­tos is cur­rently fo­cus­ing her at­ten­tion on the works of Na­tive Amer­i­can jewelry de­sign­ers. “What in­ter­ests me in [Na­tive Amer­i­can] jewelry is the play be­tween tra­di­tion and ideas about what is mod­ern,” she says. To date, she has ac­quired pieces rang­ing from Richard Chavez’s sug­ilite mo­saic rings and bracelets to Charles Loloma’s tex­tured tufa-cast cuff bracelets and the Yazzie fam­ily’s so­phis­ti­cated sil­ver­work pen­dants, ban­gles, and rings. She plans to un­veil the ex­hi­bi­tion early this year. —CAROLYN MEERS

De­signs from the Mah­naz Col­lec­tion in­clude a scor­pion neck­lace by Elsa Peretti for Tif­fany & Co. and a ring and cuff by Richard Chavez.

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